Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Microsoft Techdays 2019 - Skypexit with Mårten

The full title of this session was "Microsoft Teams replacing Skype for business, how to do a clean Skypexit."

Brexit is a big mess - we do not want to end up there with our Skype to Teams project.

Mårten held a similar presentation a year ago and the room overfilled, this year we have a bigger room and still we see a big interest in this topic given the number of people on this session. Maybe not surprising for a platform with over 13 million monthly users.

Skype for Business Online will be shut down on July 31, 2021.


  • Microsoft 365 governance is key, think about compliance and security.
  • Skype for business on-prem will remain for a long time, but it is no longer possible to order new SfB Online Tenants.


  • Island mode is the default mode and puts the Skype client as the primary tool for incoming external chats, and the user will get two buttons for meetings in the Outlook client.
  • In Teams only mode the Teams client is the primary tool for incoming external chats and the users can only use the Teams meetings button in Outlook. The Skype client can remain installed on the computer in order for the user to join SfB meetings.

Interoperability SfB / Teams

  • Presence is synchronized between the two systems.
  • Only Skype clients can join Skype meetings and only Teams clients can join Teams meetings. The Meeting Migration Service will change SfB meetings to Teams meetings when a user is migrated.
  •  How communication works in the different modes between different clients in interoperability is complicated, but well documented here.
  • Interoperability will not get "better" than this, only Teams will get better and better in the future.
  • Screen sharing can be done via a Teams meeting - this feels like a workaround.  

Hard or Soft skype exit?

  • Soft - staying in Islands mode a long time.
  • Hard - switch to Teams only ASAP.
  • There is really no right or wrong way to do it, it depends on the organization at hand.

How to do it hands-on

Lessons learned

  • Changes in Office 365 can take up to 48 hours to kick in.
  • New functions in Teams are added ad-hoc, and are sometimes enabled by default.
  • Clean up the on-prem Active Directory before you synch it to Azure AD.
  • Contacts are handled differently in Teams compared to Skype.
  • Define an organization-wide chat and meetings culture.
  • Use certified devices, or meetings will not run smooth.
  • It often starts well with chat, meetings and files, but then it stops there, make sure to jumpstart the next phase which could be telephony, bots, first line workers.
  • Teams are more than an IT-project, IT is just one part of it.
  • Run a user adoption program.
  • Define project success criteria.
  • Monitor user adoption and usage.

Islands mode or not Islands mode?
If you ask me - Rip off that band-aid fast and hard! :-)

Tools to help you (move to Teams Only)

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